Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda has said President Joyce Banda has already assented to seven financial bills that were passed by Parliament before she ascended to power on April 7, 2012.
The seven bills are those the lawmakers passed during their mid-term 2011/12 budget review sitting of 3rd February to 2nd March 2012.
Chimunthu Banda said the bills include number two of 2012 which is a loan authorization from the African Development Fund (ADF) for the higher education, science and technology support project and number six of 2012 which is Appropriation Amendment.
Other financial bills, according to the Speaker, include another loan authorization to support competitiveness and job creation and also one on Value Added Tax Amendment.
“The other bills allow government to borrow money from the African Development Bank (ADB), on behalf of the Nigerian Trust Fund, for a project to support the country’s Higher Education, Science and Technology,” said Chimunthu Banda.
President Banda also assented to a bill which gives government mandate to borrow money from the International Development Association (IDA) for additional Financing for the Agricultural Sector Wide Approach Support Project and also the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.
The Malawi President, the Speaker disclosed, approved all the bills on 16th April, 2012, barely 10 days after being sworn in as the country’s new leader.
Currently, Parliament is in session debating the 2012-2013 national budget and the legislators have already passed other bills which also await the president to assent to.
The House has also successfully repealed some infamous and oppressive laws such as the Injunctions Bill (Civil Procedures Amendment Bill) and the media law (Section 46 of the Penal Code) which gave the Minister of Information powers to ban any publication and circulation of materials he/she deemed to be bad for the public.
One of the new bills passed that has brought joy to many Malawians of concern is the long standing Disability Bill which has been gathering dust on the shelves for the past eight years.